New Commercial Division Rule Expanding the Scope of Mandatory Settlement Conferences Is Now in Effect
Update: As un update to our earlier post on the amendment of Commercial Division Rule 30 to expand the scope of mandatory settlement conferences—the new amendment is now in effect. As of February 1, 2022, absent an exemption, “the parties in every case pending in the Commercial Division must participate in a court-ordered mandatory settlement conference (MSC) following the filing of a Note of Issue.” Under the new provision, parties must submit a request seeking assignment to one of the following four tracks for an MSC, and all parties must send a representative with knowledge of the case and authority to settle it to the court-ordered MSC once it has been assigned to one of these tracks:
(A) A settlement conference before the assigned justice or another judge pursuant to Commercial Division Rule 3(b).
(B) The court will refer the case to the Judicial Hearing Officer/Special Referee office for assignment of a Judicial Hearing Officer or Special Referee to conduct the MSC.
(C) The assigned justice will refer the case to the ADR coordinator or other designated court official in the judicial district where the case is pending for assignment, at no charge to the parties, of a neutral selected from the roster of neutrals or mediators under Part 146 of the Rules of the Chief Administrative Judge. If the parties wish to continue talks with the neutral beyond the initial conference, an arrangement will have to be made to retain such neutral at terms agreed to by the neutral and the parties.
(D) The parties may agree to engage a private neutral.
 Rule 30(b)(1)(A)-(D).